A beautiful mind inspires Fran 

Francesca Bennett at CDU's mid-year graduation.

A burning desire to improve the lives of her fellow Indigenous Australians and an enquiring mind have led Francesca Bennett on one of the most rewarding journeys of her life.

At age 39, the Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Honours) student is in her final year of her studies with Charles Darwin University and can’t wait to put her learning into practice as a registered psychologist.

Fran said a deep fascination with the inner workings of the human mind sparked her interest in the field.

“I was really intrigued with people’s belief systems and thoughts and how their thought processes impact on their lives,” she said.

“I’ve also been fascinated with the area of mental health and wanted to know more about mental illness and how to help people suffering from these types of psychological issues.”

Fran said she hoped to work with Indigenous Australians to assist with empowering them to improve their lives and futures.

“I would like to work in the counselling role and would like to develop and run workshops to help people who may have self-esteem issues or who may be having difficulties coping with different areas of their lives.”

What makes Fran’s achievements all the more remarkable is that she has been able to do it all while raising a family.

“It has been difficult at times due to the tremendous amount of guilt I feel for not being able to spend as much time with my children as I would like,” she said.

“However, I talk openly with them about my studies and how attaining my degree will improve all our lives because I’m doing what I love and I’ll also be able to provide financial security.

“I also have a wonderful family and good friends who have been very understanding and supportive. Having a good support network is important and has been a life saver for me.”